The setback suggests it will be a while before Virgin can achieve its goal of carrying rockets into orbit on a regular basis. However, that’s why the launch demo took place — this is to show what went wrong and, ideally, refine the system so that it works properly in subsequent flights. The challenge is the level of effort needed. It’s not clear if Virgin will only require slight tweaks, or if this is just the first step in a very long process.
We’ve confirmed a clean release from the aircraft. However, the mission terminated shortly into the flight. Cosmic Girl and our flight crew are safe and returning to base.
— Virgin Orbit (@Virgin_Orbit) May 25, 2020